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On Display

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)

Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle-St-Cloud

Sisley was born to an English family but spent most of his life in France. He was a painter of rural landscapes, taking his subject matter from the villages surrounding Paris that were gradually becoming suburbs of the city. From the 1870s he painted in the Impressionist style: working outdoors with broken brushstrokes and an adventurous use of colour. He exhibited in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1874, 1876, 1877 and 1882. While Sisley struggled financially for much of his career, and until recently was seen as a minor figure in the movement, Pissarro believed he epitomised Impressionist painting.

This work from 1867 owes more to the influence of the Barbizon School who took their inspiration directly from nature and claimed the French landscape as a worthy subject in its own right. It shows a ride in a former Royal hunting forest - this may be implied by the deer emerging from the trees on the right. The awakening of Impressionist ideas is perhaps hinted at in the dappled brushwork of the foliage and the subtle rendering of light and shade.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1867
Dimensions 955mm x 1222mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 524
Credit Line Purchased in 1936 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund